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How can I prepare for floods?

My family flood plan

As well as protecting your house against flooding, there are some things you can do to be prepared for a flood, so that when it comes you are ready and know what to do to make sure that you, your family and your most precious belongings are safe.

Floods can happen very quickly and without warning, so it is a good idea to have a family flood plan in place so that everyone knows what to do in case of an emergency. Outlined below are some things that you might think about or do to make sure that when a flood comes, you’re prepared.

  • Keep a list of emergency numbers close to the phone, or stored in the memory of your phone or mobile.
  • Make up a flood kit and ensure everyone knows where to find it. Your flood kit should consist of a torch, some warm and waterproof clothes, a battery or wind up radio, rubber gloves, Wellington boots, a first aid kit and blankets.
  • Make a list of children’s essentials that you will have to bring with you if you are evacuated. For example – milk, baby food, sterilised bottles, nappies, a favourite teddy or toy.
  • Think about which of your possessions are most valuable to you, including expensive items, but also more importantly, those things that money can’t replace, such as photo albums, family heirlooms, etc. List the items out and make sure you know where these things are so that if a flood comes, you can move them quickly to safety.
  • Does anyone in your family need medication? If so don’t forget to take it with you.
  • Gas and electricity. Make sure you know where the shut off points are. Could you find them in the dark?
  • Have a prearranged place that you can safely move your car to if you have time.
  • If you have to evacuate do you have somewhere to go, and will you be able to get there, bearing in mind that some roads might be blocked by the flood?
  • If you have elderly or disabled family members in the house, how might you get them out safely?
  • Don’t forget your pets. Ensure you have somewhere safe for them to go. If you are evacuated can you keep them with you or will they need to be kept elsewhere?
  • There are a number of actions you can take immediately before a flood that can reduce or prevent some of the flood damage. These are listed under ?A flood is coming! What do I do??. Think about these actions. Which are relevant to you? Which might you be able to achieve if a flood is imminent? Which would be your priorities?
  • Practice your flood plan. Make sure that everyone knows what has to be done and what it is safe to do.

Flooding facts

Scientists predict that climate changes may lead to more frequent flooding in the future.